Police in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district arrested a man on Wednesday accused of working as a guard at a 450-plant marijuana field as he chopped up dried marijuana in a hut nearby, police said yesterday.
Veal Veng district police chief Theang Leng said that suspect Sor Rithy, a farmer from Anlong Reap commune, had told police that he and another man named Doeun were guards who tended to and processed the marijuana for men from Phnom Penh – identified as Sok and Rith – who provided the seeds.
“We have arrested the suspect along with 12 kilograms of dried marijuana,” Leng said. “The 450 fresh marijuana plants were burned down at the site by the authorities.”
Police found the crop based on a tip off from local villagers, Leng said.
According to the police report, Rithy allegedly confessed to selling several kilograms of marijuana to customers in Phnom Penh twice at a cost of $100 per kilo.
Leng added that, “according to Article 38 of drug law, authorities decided to [preliminarily] charge the suspect with planting addictive plants illegally for commercial purposes” – a charge that carries a sentence of up to five years in prison if proven.
Phuong Sothea, a provincial monitor for rights group Adhoc, urged authorities to keep investigating to find those in charge of the operation.